Index - Domestic - Yoram Hazony: Conservative values ​​must be accepted in public life as well

You came to Hungary at the invitation of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium and gave a presentation on whether political and social cooperation could be established between classical liberals and conservatives. What do you think of such a possible coalition?

There has been co-operation between liberals and conservatives in America and other Western countries since the 1960s. This coalition was formed to defeat the Soviet Union and socialism. This project was called fusionism, and it was very successful politically, as it succeeded in defeating the communist Soviet empire. Meanwhile, it was a matter of being conservative in private life but liberal in community life. Different traditions can be kept at home, but not in social life. In this respect, this cooperation has been a complete failure, as conservatism and tradition have almost completely disappeared from these countries.

Do you think you are pessimistic about the possibility of such a cooperation?

What is needed now is a new agreement between conservatives and liberals, as there is a need for public conservatism, where Christianity would be a defining element of culture, and there would also be a proper space for minorities to defend their rights.

Liberals have tended to ally with the left in recent decades. Why would there be a demand on their part to open up to conservatives?

America is currently undergoing a cultural revolution that has originated from universities and is spreading to other countries through the media. In this cultural revolution, the New Marxists won and the majority of liberals stood up among them or gave up their position because they did not know what else to do.

The possibility of entering into an alliance with liberals raises the question of what those who believe in Christian democracy can do for liberals who are not happy that Marxism is ruling their country and everything is going wrong around them. Is it possible to squeeze a place for minorities, homosexuals, or even Jews in a society with a majority Christian culture.

And is it possible?

Conservatives think I can do that, but so far they haven’t tried it anywhere. Hungary is an experimental field in this respect, as you have a national, conservative government that considers Christianity to be the dominant culture, but also, for example, significantly supports the Jewish community.

In Anglo-Saxon countries, the economic dimension of conservatism is often emphasized, with social issues at the center. Which approach is closer to you?

One of my dear teachers said that capitalism is only doubled, but not tripled, because freedom contributes greatly to material prosperity, but if it goes too far, it destroys all moral and traditional aspects of a country, national consciousness, family, religion. and everything.

Therefore, conservatives should strive to preserve market freedom, but not excessive freedom in family, political or national life.

This is the only workable compromise. In order of importance comes religion first, then nationalism and only then economic growth. Growth without religion and patriotism destroys everything.

You always use the word nationalism, which many consider negative, and not patriotism, which is perhaps somewhat more accepted. What is the reason for this choice?

If I used the word patriotism, Marxists would say that patriotism is also an evil thing. It’s just a play on words. A nationalist is the person who believes that the world works best when based on independent nations. There is nothing wrong with that. It is pure propaganda to say that if someone supports the national sovereignty of a country, it is a bad person. Those who say this consciously or unconsciously, but support the creation of a new international world order in which progressives will control everything. We must not let go on this issue, because in the context I have outlined, there is no difference between nationalism and patriotism.

In the international press, Viktor Orbán and his government are mentioned as populists, while Fidesz identifies itself as a Christian Democrat, conservative party. You also had the opportunity to speak in person with our Prime Minister. In your opinion, which description is more appropriate?

Populism is a class warrior term that suggests the people are right and the elite are wrong. That’s why I don’t use that word. I am a nationalist and I believe that in every nation, the elite and the wider population need to find a way to work together for the benefit of the nation.

I am convinced that Viktor Orbán is a politician who strives for this and wants to establish cooperation between the majority and the elite.

Of course, if the elite is hostile to national sentiment or even to Christianity, there will be a clash. I believe that the national interest of your government in Hungary is first, not the interest of the little people in the elite.

In the West, conservatives seem to politicize differently. There they seem to be in constant backwardness. Do you agree?

This self-abandonment and retreat, in which conservatives always lose, is in fact the result of the fusionism already mentioned, when the conservative idea is exiled into private life and liberalism is made dominant in public life. We have seen that this has led the Conservatives to lose every battle. In order for conservatism to have a future and to succeed in preserving social values ​​and traditions, a conservative attitude must also be assumed in public life. Of course, special rights must be created for those who do not want to keep up with the majority, but the majority culture must be conservative, with the aim of passing on key values ​​from generation to generation.

What are the values ​​that a true conservative cannot afford?

These values ​​are: Respect for God, Scripture, Community, Family, Honor, and Holiness. But today, unfortunately, we also have to add that male and female identities are included here.

In one of his lectures, he spoke of the fact that today’s left is characterized by imperial aspiration. What do you mean by that?

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, liberal imperialism became dominant, forcing its values ​​on the world even when it was needed. Roughly a generation has passed, and we see that universal Marxism has swept this approach. In the past, liberals wanted to teach the whole world how to be liberal. And now Marxists want to export Marxism to all countries in the world. Both ideologies have a universal need, and therefore necessarily have an imperial element in them.

He just said the new Marxists won the cultural struggle in the United States. Yet, how strong do you think this movement is in America?

The new Marxist movement has amazing power. It is enough to follow the example of the New York Times, which for about a hundred years was one of the most important liberal institutions in the world, but in a few years it collapsed under pressure and adopted a new ideology.

I went to Princeton University, which was a liberal institution. There were Marxists and conservatives on the periphery, but the majority were liberal. In a few years, all that has changed. All liberal symbols are replaced. Even the school named after Woodrow Wilson was renamed. This is happening all over the country and we do not yet see how it can be combated. Of course, the resistance may start one day.

It was as if he had already started. American parents are increasingly protesting against the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Maybe that was the last straw?

Banning the teaching of critical race theory in schools, involving the state legislature, is entirely new to conservatives who have been liberal for so long that it has not even occurred to them that government can be used to achieve their goals. It is now a shock to the American system to see that voters do support a conservative movement if it is directed against neo-Marxism in schools. The question, of course, is whether it will follow that conservatives will turn to the government in other matters as well. The answer to this is not yet known.

The left has fought fiercely against anti-Semitism in the past. There was a time when this was the most horrible charge that could only hit someone. Today, however, the attitudes of the progressives have changed. What could have happened?

Post-World War II liberalism was born at a certain historical moment after the Holocaust, and Jewishness played a symbolic role in this liberalism. People thought that if we couldn’t deal well with Judaism, we could take the road to evil again. Today, this attitude has ceased, and neo-Marxist ideology is hostile to Judaism as well as to Christians. In this worldview, there is no way to call the Jews a special group to pay attention to, since Judaism is part of the power structure. Israel is seen as an oppressor, and the same is true of successful Jewish businessmen.

There is a list of oppressed groups, and the Jews are not on it.

This is because Marxist ideology seeks to destroy power structures, and because Jews believe parts of it and are as oppressive as all other colonialist white groups, they do not deserve special treatment either.

(Cover image: Yoram Hazony. Photo: Bodnár Patrícia / Index)

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